World Cup Update


James Hanley

James Hanley is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.

Related Post Roulette

63 Responses

  1. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Apparently, we were supposed to bite.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Well, that game bit.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird says:


  4. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Instead of a red card (deserved) or a yellow card (least they could have done), expect this:

    (BTW, that was a cool song, Professor!)Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Apparently this is the top corporate-promoted tweet:


  6. NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

    Don’t know why, but the results of today’s matches just leave me gutted.

    There’s a deep sense of….I dunno, failure that I’m taking way more personally than I should be.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      Having watched Japan get pushed around (and frequently knocked down) by Greece, even when the latter was at 10 men, I imagine that one of their main priorities over the next 4 years will be adding some size in the midfield. They clearly have the talent up front.Report

  7. Avatar notme says:

    While I’ve mildly enjoyed watching the world cup, I still find a sport where you can play the entire game and still tie quite odd. How very European, an entire game’s effort,no real outcome and everyone is okay with that.Report

    • Avatar James Hanley says:

      I’ve seen basketball games go into triple overtime, and a football game that went into quadruple overtime. That is, they went full game plus and still had a tie.

      Oh, you mean after all that effort, we have to declare a winner even though it’s not a knockout game? How amusingly immature.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        James, I agree with you – I’ll even add a few things not mentioned – but I want to point something pretty obvious to me an prolly to you too. Notme’s just trolling here given than it’s obvious that some of us are really diggin the World Cup and that particular commenter apparently doesn’t. What was said really expresses does convey something a reflective, mature, emotionally adult person would refrain from expressing because it would reveal their own level of immaturity (to say nothing about ignorance) about something they know nothing of, but which in a different cultural context would be something mature, adult folks would refrain from saying. But for some reason (that baffles me) ignorance has been elevated to an “American Value” by folks who want to remain emotionally immature. And unfortunately for the rest of us, those folks seem to define our (collective!) cultural values.

        And just so you don’t get reflexive on me, I include liberals in this group as well. But like all things where BSDI, it’s not an equivalence.Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        Wow. Sorry for the garblage. I was distracted watching WC highlights…Report

      • Avatar notme says:

        I give you credit for trying to be clever. Regular season soccer games end in a tie all of the time unlike American football or basketball with over time which is meant to produce a winner. We both know this and no attempt at being clever will change it.Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        What is the point of two teams competing to find out who is best if you accept a tie?Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        So what? The concept is focused on winning the war, not the battle.

        A tie IS an outcome, it’s 1 point on the standings. Which is usually treading water, but sometimes a little better. The notion that a draw is “no real outcome” is only true if you’re only looking at it per game.

        Hell one can also make the point that the whole concept of putting so much emphasis on standings in the regular season when you have a knock-out format playoff is stupid. All that waste and pageantry just so you can start over in a 3 week format that is completely different and negates playing the entire season.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        A good point. When Europe thinks about War, it tends to remember WWI.

        So a sport that sublimates war will, in Europe, sublimate WWI. You’ll get ties, non-tie scores like “1-0”, and a vague sense of ennui. And it takes, like, YEARS to get to a championship match.

        When the US thinks about War, it tends to remember WWII. This manifests differently when it plays sports that sublimate war.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        I wish college football still had ties. Or professional, excluding elimination games.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman says:

        Wait, doesn’t the NFL still have ties after fifteen minutes?Report

      • Avatar Stillwater says:

        What is the point of two teams competing to find out who is best if you accept a tie?

        Now that you mention it .. yer right. The whole thing is obviously stupid. ANd everyone who thinks it’s a beautiful game are just a bunch of ignorant morans.

        Thanks for clearing that up for me, notme!!!Report

      • Avatar notme says:


        Of course a tie is an outcome. The question is geared towards the utility/desirability of having a tie as an outcome in the structure of the sport as opposed to the normal binary win/lose.Report

      • Avatar Tod Kelly says:

        I used to think this, until Portland got a soccer team. Now I get that it isn’t actually that you’re declaring no winner, any more than you’re not declaring a winner in a basketball game if it’s tied at halftime. You’re going for cumulative game points in a season.Report

      • Avatar gingergene says:

        NHL has ties in regular season games. How very European, I guess. Or do we blame Canada for this one?Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        I’ve seen … a football game that went into quadruple overtime. That is, they went full game plus and still had a tie.

        Yes, but in HS/College football, the overtimes are untimed, so that wouldn’t make it a “full game plus”.

        In the NFL, this is possible in the playoffs, but the record is 82:40 of total elapased time on December 25, 1971. Miami 24, @ Kansas City 21. This game kicked off at 3 PM. People were so upset that the NFL literally didn’t schedule another Christmas game until 1989.Report

      • Avatar Jim Heffman says:

        “When the US thinks about War, it tends to remember WWII. This manifests differently when it plays sports that sublimate war.”

        And it makes it kind of awkward to play against the Japanese.

        “Man, that Japanese power forward is just on fire today!”
        “Too soon, bro. Too soon.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      Back before ballparks had lights, a tie was a reasonably common outcome in a baseball game, if the score was even when the sun went down. Even in the World Series.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        The last baseball game that was called for darkness and ended in a tie was September 8, 1985: 5-5 Cincinnati @ Chicago Cubs

        By coincidence, this was also the game that Pete Rose collected his 4,191st hit. This tied him with Ty Cobb.

        So, in one game we have a tie game, a tied record, and Ty Cobb.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        What are the odds? Pete would have taken that action.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain says:

      In addition to the other reasoned (or not) comments that have been made, I’ll just add that ties are inherent in any game in which scoring is as difficult as it is in soccer. I for one am pleased that the game has kept its character for over a hundred years, while growing the fan base massively.Report

    • Avatar Mo says:

      NFL games and hockey games end up as ties.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        NFL games and hockey games end up as ties.

        The NHL eliminated the tie in 2005. They still exist on other levels of hockey, though.

        The NFL has ties, but have only had 19 of them in the last 41 seasons, fewer than 1 every 2 years.Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        The NHL still gives out points for losing in OT/SO, under which circumstances, I think it’s fair to note that they haven’t, technically, eliminated ties.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        I remember when it was relatively common for college football games to end in ties. Then they added the worst overtime rules ever conceived, which are so much worse than ending in a tie that they stand as an indictment of the entire American sports culture.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        Correction: The NFL tie stat is over the last 40 years, not 41.

        ScarletNumbers regrets the error.Report

      • Avatar Mo says:

        There have also been one in each of the last two seasons, it’s hardly like it’s an obscure outcome. We may see more ties now with the new OT rules.Report

      • Avatar Trumwill says:

        Then they added the worst overtime rules ever conceived, which are so much worse than ending in a tie that they stand as an indictment of the entire American sports culture.

        Preach it, Brother Chris. Preach it.Report

  8. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    USA-Germany predictions, everyone? (Perhaps there should be dedicated thread…) I’m not quite ready myself. My fear is that a draw seems like a relatively unlikely outcome this time around.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

      We’ll beat them, they’ll go nuts over it, and we’ll beat them again.Report

    • Avatar Chris says:

      I’m still traumatized from Sunday, but I’m hoping that since they only need a draw to win the group (unless Ghana beats Portugal by 6), Germany will be wholly uninspired.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        How much does a win versus a draw affect where Germany would be placed in the elimination bracket?Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        A draw means they win the group on goal differential, a win means they win it on points. A loss means the U.S. wins the group. Ghana only advance with a win (though if the U.S. and Germany tie, that gets complicated), Portugal only if they win and the U.S. loses (unless the U.S. ties and Portugal beats Ghana by 5). So if Portugal and Ghana tie (fingers crossed), the U.S. is through anyway.Report

      • I’m hoping that tomorrow is the single most boring game in history other than the last time Germany played a team with which it had a good relationship in a game where mutually beneficial results were possible.

        I have a sinking feeling in my stomach that Ghana is going to throttle Portugal, meaning that we only move on if we get a point. Hopefully, Germany heeds Berni Vogts’ subliminal messaging on this:

      • Avatar Chris says:

        After the last minute goal, and Ronaldo finally looking like Ronaldo for 30 seconds, I would not be surprised to see Portugal play inspired football and actually beat Ghana pretty handily.

        But man am I hoping they tie.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


        Are you referring to the Anschluss?

        That match took place exactly 32 years ago. Kickoff was at 5:15 PM, so I missed it by about 20 minutes.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird says:

        Here are the U.S. draw or loss scenarios:

        I’m hoping for one of the “yes”es in the middle of a field of red.

        Or a coin toss. Then we get to really condescend to the Americans who say “what the hell?” about soccer.

        “Maybe if you appreciated the nuances of the game, you’d see that we sometime have to arbitrarily pick someone to move on! YOU IGNORANT HILLBILLY!”Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:

        @chris 1:03 am

        Ghana only advance with a win

        I don’t know if this was a typo or an affectation, but I would have said “advances” instead of advance.

        I notice that commentators on TV now use “advance”, but when I was in school it was “advances”.

        In that same vein, I now notice in newspapers that “couple” is treated as singular, and when I was in school, it was treated as plural.

        For example, a sentence would now read “The couple reside in New Jersey”, where, in the past, it would have read “The couple resides in New Jersey”.Report

      • Avatar Chris says:

        Since the whole Ghanaian team advances as one, the verb should have been singular. “Ghana only advances…”.Report

      • Avatar j r says:

        The good thing for the United States is that both Ghana and Portugal still have a chance, so hopefully, neither will lay down for the other.

        It’s possible that after winning the European Championship and taking the player of the year back from Messi after four years, Ronaldo doesn’t have much fire in him for the World Cup. Pride alone, however, should make him not want to go home goalless.Report

      • Avatar Mike Schilling says:

        Coin toss is used s a last resort in the NFL too, but it’s rarely applied since it comes after things like “average hotness of the team’s cheerleaders”.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        @mark-thompson and @chris : I too am deeply unsettled by the possibility that Ghana still has the power to deny us out advancement. They seem to enjoy being our spoilers every tournament.Report

      • Avatar Burt Likko says:

        What’s funny about that wish, @jaybird , is that it strikes me as well plausible that the results tomorrow will be USA 1:2 GER and POR 1:2 GHA, which would result in US advancement (due to head-to-head victory of GHA:US after equal goal differentials).Report

      • NobAkimoto NobAkimoto says:

        Since the whole Ghanaian team advances as one, the verb should have been singular. “Ghana only advances…”.

        It’s a convention in football that clubs and national sides are referred to as if they were plural. Hence you see things like “Liverpool are looking to take a bite out of Manchester United’s merchandising lead with a new Luis Suarez can opener bobblehead doll.”

        I am, in fact, completely uncertain why the English speak in this way, but it’s one of the biggest grammatical differences I’ve noticed when talking football with people.Report

      • Avatar ScarletNumbers says:


        Thanks for the explanation. It has been grating on my ears the entire tournament.Report

      • Avatar James Hanley says:

        Although it sounds weird to our American ears, it’s logical. We would say “the Spurs are,” so it’s not really different to say “San Antonio are,” even though “San Antonio” is grammatically a singular noun.

        After many years, I’ve almost become accustomed to it. It’s one of those little details that marks watching Association Football as opposed to American football, basketball, hockey, baseball, curling, etc.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Well, I don’t think we lose. Which is all we need to do, not lose. Which means we need to play to win, because Italy — Italy played to draw against Uruguay and that strategy wound up biting them in the… shoulder.

      If we play to win, we might just wind up with a draw against a team of Germany’s caliber. Now, should we somehow win, the Germans will not be so upset since the time the English sang them that special song. And wouldn’t it be cool to play Russia in the opening round of the knockouts? And then win, and advance to the quarterfinal against beatable France?

      Most likely despite all the denials on both sides, they could just biscotti the whole thing, and we’ll say “Bring on Belgium!” Who I also think USA can beat, but our reward for that would likely be a quarterfinal match against Argentina and I’d much rather face France in the quarterfinal than Argentina.

      For the time being, though, we really ought not to look any farther than the next game as this will be challenge enough.Report